These States are "On Fire" With COVID
The coronavirus is resurging due to the Delta variant and 100 million unvaccinated Americans. How did it get so bad seemingly so quickly? "Part of the challenge we have is the fact that we do have to live our everyday lives. And I think most of America right now is done with the pandemic," says virus expert Michael Osterholm. "They don't believe that it relates to them anymore. They've put in their time. And of course, the challenge we have is, the virus is not done with us yet." "States with low vaccination rates are on fire, we need to get more shots in arms," says Dr. Leo Nissola, an immunologist, immunotherapy scientist and CBS News Medical Contributor. Read on to see how bad it is and which states are also in trouble—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.
Florida Has the Most COVID Cases Right Now
"Florida is recording more Covid-19 cases than any other U.S. state, as hospitalizations in some areas increase at the fastest rate since the start of the pandemic," reports the Wall Street Journal. "The state accounts for one in five new infections in the U.S. and logged 73,181 cases over the past week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Florida had 341 cases per 100,000 people over the past week, second only to Louisiana. The weekly total of new cases reported by Florida jumped more than fourfold between July 1 and July 22, reaching its highest point since mid-January. Deaths in Florida totaled 319 over the past week, the most among states, with a rate of 1.5 per 100,000 people, the fourth-highest, according to the CDC."
"All of those things together are a recipe for the data that we're seeing," Jason Salemi, an epidemiologist at the University of South Florida, told the paper. "It's a cause for concern…the speed with which the indicators are going up."
Missouri COVID Cases Just Reached a Six Month High
Missouri has been hit hard because the vaccination rate is so low. "Springfield, where the Ozark Empire Fair will be held July 29 to Aug. 7, is in Greene County, one of the state's Covid hotspots," reports CNN. "Mercy Hospital in Springfield recorded 148 positive Covid-19 cases as of Thursday, an all-time high, said Sonya Kullmann, spokesperson for the hospital. Greene County currently has 4,663 active cases as of Friday morning, according to its website. The uptick in cases is caused by the fast-spreading Delta variant; 95% of those cases were in unvaccinated people, Kullmann said."
Arkansas Sees Highest Single-Day Increase in Deaths From Virus Since March
The Republican Governor of Arkansas isn't the only one imploring people to get vaccinated. "An Arkansas doctor gave an emotional plea for people to get vaccinated, describing 'regret and remorse' on the faces of patients dying with COVID-19," reports Business Insider. "Speaking from a coronavirus unit in Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, Dr. Michael Bolding said he wished people could see these patients' faces. The video, posted on Facebook on July 16, has been shared more than 6,300 times. Bolding said the sick people knew 'that they may be short for this world because they didn't get their vaccine.'"
Louisiana COVID Hospitalizations are Stalling Other Surgeries
In all the states we've just listed, "you're seeing these major challenges in the healthcare system," says Osterholm. "Because of the fact that we have vaccinated" so many people over 65 "we're not seeing that population nearly as much entering into the hospitals and the ICU intensive care units. But we're seeing is much younger individuals. They don't get as sick as often, but because of the sheer number of them, they are literally causing severe challenges in our healthcare systems."
How to Stay Safe Out There
Follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.